Raft & Craft Beer and Food Menu, 2013 Trip

Ahhhhh…to float down a mighty river…to sip and nosh on tasty goodies…to enjoy excellent company.

Sound like a dream? Well, it’s a reality every summer – or at least we’ve been at it the past 4 summers with ROW Adventures, a high quality well-regarded adventure company based in Idaho, with trips all over the globe. Enter: the annual Raft & Craft trip with Women Enjoying Beer and ROW.

This year, our able and friendly guides, Tom and Aylan, lead the group down a section of the Wild and Scenic Rogue River. Wild and Scenic is a unique designation – read more about it here. Suffice it to say that there are no roads that accompany the river where we primarily rafted, it’s truly a great wilderness, and stunning to behold.

Alison, one of the fabulous Raft & Craft guests, & Ginger - ready for white water, tasty beers & food

Alison, one of the fabulous Raft & Craft guests, & Ginger – ready for white water, tasty beers & food

We added the root beer component to make sure all guests could fully enjoy the flavors. A shout out to my helpers, Brenden and Jarrett, for their assistance. Beverages and food should be accessible to all. And beer is family friendly when exercised in moderation, as all beers should be – root or otherwise!

I hope you come join us on a future trip. Heck, don’t wait! Go adventuring as you wish. If you want a beer and or root beer component, WEB is also available to assist in that arena. It’s great tasty fun.


Night 1 = Zevia Root Beer with licorice curls; Blue Sky Root Beer with gingersnap cookies; Ninkasi Believer Double Red beer with salami, cashews, and cheddar cheese; Burnside Sweet Heat with Kettle  BBQ potato chips and dried California apricots.

Night 2 = Root beer making with Torani Root Beer Syrup and Blue Sky sparkling water True Seltzer and also with Hansen’s Club Soda with organic licorice chunks, sea salt Kettle potato chips, and dried mango; Ninkasi Maiden The Shade beer with chorizo and Monterey Jack cheese; Southern Tier Choklat beer with almonds and chocolate malted milk balls.

Good resources:

  1. Talk to your local homebrew shop as many also assist with home brewed sodas – thanks Tonessa at Grains, Beans N Things!
  2. Homemade Root Beer Soda & Pop, Stephen Creswell. Fun book loaded with fun herstory and recipes.

Comments »

Beer: Like Savoir Faire, It’s Everywhere

Where have you looked lately where beer is not available?

Beer is truly part of the human society fabric. From your local brewery and brewpub to the retailer and distributor. From the grower to the manufacturer and from the vendor to the end consumer.

Toronto's Festival Of Beer 2013

Toronto’s Festival Of Beer 2013

Having returned recently from Toronto’s Festival Of Beer, it’s obvious that beer culture is alive, enjoying, and well in Canada. Yes, it’s a huge country – and like America there are nuances to people enjoying in varying degrees and in all sorts of ways with all kinds of flavors.

I’d bet money that this landscape is repeated often and universally in countries and areas all over the world. No matter what the actual beer is – indigenous ingredients have been used forever where ever people make beer. Those that also realize this know that making beer is one way to render unsafe drinking water safe (boiling in the brewing process).

Beer was on the Rogue River in the evenings following our annual Raft & Craft trip with ROW Adventures as well. We added a fun facet to the usual evening tastings and pairings: root beer.

Root beer tasting on the annual Raft & Craft trip

Root beer tasting on the annual Raft & Craft trip

Bringing beer to life means recognizing that life for people doesn’t have to start once you hit a legal age of majority. Pish! I’d refer to the fact that children have drank beer time immemorial, since – once again – making beer made the liquid safe to drink. When you look through this lens, keep in mind those beers (of “underage” consumption) were and are generally low in alcohol. They’re made for hydration so need to be lower alcohol.

So back to present day and the reality that breweries are growing at a rapid rate in the US of A. Countries like new Zealand and Australia are seeing growth. China, Italy, Japan, and many others.

Like savoir faire, beer is everywhere. So look around you, enjoy what you want, and share in the flavor diplomacy that’s available.

Comments »

Great Folks In Toronto

Cheers to the terrific & beerific team at Beerlicious!! They’ve graciously invited me to be a presenter and edutainer in the Grilling Tent this coming Sunday at the Toronto Festival of Beers (7/28).

Join us at the 2013 Toronto Festival of Beers!

Join us at the 2013 Toronto Festival of Beers!

If you’re in the neighborhood or are looking for a reason to get to gorgeous Toronto, Ontario, Canada, come out to this tasty and energetic festival.

The entire team – Courtney, Les, Erin, Jeremy & Roger (that I’m familiar with so far) has been unfailingly helpful, enthusiastic and I super stoked for WEB to get there. Plus I’ve never spent any time in the largest city in Canada – though I can sing the national anthem, Oh Canada (previous life experience singing anthems at hockey games).

I’m ready for some fresh and tasty Canadian Beer, great camaraderie, and the food’s a’waiting! I also have the honor of being their first American to appear – it’s an opportunity to further the idea of beer education and get to know more beer lovers. What an honor!!!

I’m very grateful and excited for it. Here’s the bio of one of these fine folk, Roger Mittag, super accomplished beer comrade and educator:

 Roger Mittag, Professor of Beer, Thirst for Knowledge Inc. (love that name!)

Roger Mittag, currently a Professor at Humber College’s renowned School of Hospitality, is also the founder of Canada’s leading beer education company, Thirst For Knowledge.  He has been bringing his beer appreciation tips to Canadians since 1997 through a series of tasting seminars, beer dinners and educational events. He’s a consultant to several Canadian breweries bringing his extensive beer industry knowledge and enthusiastic approach to their sales and marketing teams. He has recently created Prud’homme Beer Certification, a sommelier style program for beer and the first such program in Canada. Roger also owns and operates, The Beer School, which offers beer courses to consumers.

Grilling Tent appearance: Sunday 7/28, 530 – 615 pm

I’ll be demonstrating 2 sauces – one cheese and one chocolate for my time in the Grilling Tent. Showing how easy and simple basic sauces are – that you can make on the grill. And how flexible and adaptable they are with tweaks and common ingredients to change and develop ne flavors to enjoy.

Cheers to Canada, fun beer people, and the great city of Toronto – see you soon!

Comments »

The Geography Of Beer Festival Attendees

Who do you meet at beer festivals? Are they people from the same town? State? Country? Are they from overseas? Visiting friends or family? In town for another reason or event and happened to find out about it?

I find the attendees at beer festivals quite remarkable in their geographic spread. Case in point:

Last weekend found the bright orange WEB tent in truly spectacular Stevenson, Washington for the Gorge Blues & Brews Fest. That geography alone was worth the trip. Say nothing of the tremendous crew and staff, volunteers that made it all happen seamlessly. I digress….

Let’s see, here’s a cross-section, as my memory serves, of the folks I met:

  • Mom & Daughter – from WA, Folks now in South Dakota (a former home state of mine)
  • Couple – Minnesota tee shirts (Twins & Saints). MN is the state I primarily grew up in.
  • Woman – Flying Saucer hat, earned in Houston TX; the same FS that good friend and colleague Ronnie Crocker took me to a few years back.
  • Man – Alaska shirt, big fan of the state.
  • Woman – lives stateside, grew up in Germany.
Gorge Blues & Brews Fest, 2013 Stevenson WA

Gorge Blues & Brews Fest, 2013 Stevenson WA

And that’s just a start. It’s almost a game to find out where people hail from. Goodness knows everyone wants to know where I live (not sure why…). And when I tell them I’ve lived in 8 different states and I started WEB in Iowa, it’s a great conversation for all.

We’ll have a few big maps at GABF this year, ala the OBF, for people to note where they are from if they choose.

Speaking of the Oregon Brewers Fest (OBF)…that’s another globally attended festival. If you are headed there, look for us and say hello.

If you’re a consumer traveling about to beer fests, we appreciate your stories and sharing your adventures. If you’re a pro, be sure to thank people from all over for attending, whether from down the street or across the globe.

Until we meet again, keep diplomacy of beer and relationships top of mind. Genuine diplomacy goes a long way towards good relations, just as tasty beer does.

Cheers –

Check out where we’ll be on our Events page by clicking here.

Comments »

Speak Up And Show Up To Support Beer

Do you want to support your local Brewery? Do you support your go-to brands of the delicious, varietal and economically stimulating beer industry?

No matter where you like: Support the beer you love

No matter where you like: Support the beer you love

Dick Cantwell, Elysian Brewing, is one of those individuals I thoroughly enjoy listening to, learning from and talking with. Here’s an example of his eloquence while getting at a serious issue. No minced words, higghly intelligent, and forthcoming. He’s a class act who is passionate about what he is contributing to the world at large, in a big thinking way, while minding the shop at home.

Cheers to Dick. Cheers to others who speak up and keep speaking up about things that matter to them. Cheers to you supporting. We all need to speak up and show up to support what we believe in.

Comments »

Wine Tasting Class Is Good Knowledge For Beer Tasting

If you’re a regular reader here, you may remember a piece I wrote about how attending a wine tasting was a fantastic refresher and teacher to relate to beer tasting.

Well, my friends, I went to another wine tasting event last weekend. And I’m here to share more, again, on how similar the sensory experience execution is. It’s a terrific way to welcome, engage and encourage the education of yourself and others. It also helps build confidence: when you know how to taste one beverage, you can transfer those ideas to another. And another. And then food.

Kara & Greg, Winemakers, teaching the interested more about wine & tasting

Kara & Greg, Winemakers, teaching the interested more about wine & tasting

Here’s what I learned this time courtesy of winemakers Kara and Greg, Wooldridge Creek & Warrick Wines.

  • Fluctuating temperatures are not good for wine. Consistency is best.
  • White Zinfandel is made with the same grapes as red zin, the juice simply spends more ‘time on the skins’ (picking up color).
  • What does “Old Vine” mean? It means the vines are old enough to bear fruit.
  • Trellising grape vines is a recent practice only going back 60+/- years.
  • Hedonistic is a great gustatory word to use!
  • In order to be viable business wise (at least in Southern Oregon) a vineyard needs to be at least 50 acres in size.
  • Tannin’s are natures antioxidants
  • Grapes are one of the very few agriculture crops that have no GMO influence
  • In Europe, they drink by region. Drinking by style is very American.
  • Salivation = heightened senses = better tasting
  • Claret and Meritage are marketing words, with Meritage being a royalty-paid usage.

I encourage you to go taste beer, wine, spirits, sour cream, cheese, chocolate, broccoli and anything else wherein you get to learn about the food featured. Being a ‘smart’ person means keeping your mind and palate open and sharing with others the knowledge you gather.

Education makes the world go round. I’ll drink a glass of wine to that!

p.s. if you wonder what winemakers drink….read this.

One comment

One comment »

What Sitting In The Front Row Will Teach You

As much as I can, I head to the front row of any conference, talk, presentation and seminar. I find that I tune in best in those spots – I “lean in”, as Sheryl Sandberg would also say. If I’m a few rows or tables back, the fascination of people watching can impede my hearing so I head to the front.

Front rows teach you to be a good attentive guest, to not fidget too much, to listen, to give the presenter the full respect they deserve. It teaches us to remember that giving of ourselves on stage allows others to learn, think, ponder, celebrate, grow and discuss.

One of my most recent front row seatings was at the Craft Brewers Conference held in Washington DC. At the opening Keynote Address and General Session, the rows are usually straight across, as were all the rooms I visited (a slight curve would serve the attendees better). Room layout has much to do with the efficacy of presentation to the audience and interaction of the presenter with the audience.

Blissing out at the CBC 2013

Blissing out at the CBC 2013

I like the front row also because to me being there in person is never replaceable by a screen, however large and simultaneous. The whole idea of going to a live talk is in large part the level of personal intimacy it offers: you can’t enjoy a concert from a recording as much as you can in person. And you’ll never get as much out of seeing the gestures, facial expressions, whole body movements, and supporting atmosphere remotely.

A few things that came from first the presenters live & in person:

Kim Jordan, New Belgium Brewing: Strengthen the bonds that make this a community, not just an industry.

Peter Bouckaert, New Belgium Brewing: 3 Ingredients in beer: Love, Experience and Creativity

Kim: Nurturing your happiness quotient feels right.

Peter (per receiving the Russell Scherer Award): [this is] the best place at the right time.

Another panel presenter offered this as well:

As partners, we’re putting everything on the line together.

Sitting in the front row affords you the most direct visual line to those giving of their time, expertise, humor and passions. As a presenter myself, I also very much appreciate the attentiveness and engagement of other front row sitters.

Why wouldn’t you sit in the front row? After all, like Sam Calagione says, we’re all blissed out!

Comments »

A Go/at To Cheese

Cheers to day to Cypress Grove Chevre for being a new partner in our educational pursuits. Thank you for the engagement. We’re already very glad to be partnered with Ninkasi Brewing as well.** And beer and cheese are 2 gustatory delights that all of us at WEB fully enjoy.

They have a lot in common too:

  • They’re both alive (ideally not pasteurized)
  • The flavors of both change as they age (for better or worse, if left too long)
  • They’re both versatile, infinitely flexible in uses and great to share

While I could go on, I’ll let this quote say it another way.

Happy enjoyers Barbara, Judy, Ginger & Frank at the WEB Ribbon Cutting & Greeters 3/15/13

Happy enjoyers Barbara, Judy, Ginger & Frank at the WEB Ribbon Cutting & Greeters 3/15/13

At a recent event I hosted, my fine husband was serving beer and managing the food table. The offerings included Humboldt Fog (and Truffle Tremor) by CGC and he heard these words uttered by an obviously very happy guest:

[Humboldt Fog is] “My favorite cheese in the whole world.”

While I shy away from stating favorites, clearly this person has passion for the brand compelled them to share their enthusiasm and gratitude for the plate of it in front of them.

So thanks Cypress Grove and guest! It takes two to taste and we’re so glad you enjoyed it.

Here’s the full menu, per a morning Ribbon Cutting & Chamber Greeters that WEB hosted (thanks to Louie’s for the gracious use of their space).

  • Cypress Grove Chevre Humboldt Fog & Truffle Tremor
  • Locally grown fresh red Bartlett pears and Gala apples
  • Nutty Squash Bread, Dill & Goat Cheese bread, & Chocolate Almond Bread – 2 of 3 made with beer
  • Standing Stone Brewing Company Chocolate Ale, Amber, Brewers Surprise & Oatmeal Stout

**Open offer to other purveyors of fine beer and food who are interested in partnering with us: There’s always room for one more good one! Be in touch.

Comments »

Portland Women’s Expo 2013

Make no mistake: Women Enjoy Beer.

Testimony was in full force last Saturday at the Portland Convention Center where the Portland Women’s Expo took place. WOW! They’ve been doing the event for some time and clearly the addition of the Women Enjoying Beer Lounge was a very popular addition.

At any one time, between opening at 10 am and about 4 pm+, the Lounge area was packed with great women seeking flavor and fun. 3 to 4 deep, all around the tables – very cool to see!

Our Big Thanks to Chico & the organizers for being open to enhancing the Expo with the Lounge. A Huge Thanks to Maletis Beverage Distributors and the beer brand representatives that made the Beer area pour fluidly all day. Shout out to Ninkasi Brewing and Kind Snacks for adding even more flavor to the day.

Also – Thanks to the Portland Trolley for letting me hop on the Trolley they had present and give some Edutainment to interested attendees. The Beer & Chocolate session filled up that sporty and comfy trolley to be sure! Further proof that women want to learn, have fun learning, and do it in a very social and welcoming setting. FYI – the beers and chocolates we served: SOB Porter & Oakshire Espresso Stout; Dagoba Organic Chocolate Xocolatl, Beaucoup Berries, Roseberry, Dark.

If you were at the Expo and really liked the addition of a beer area, please thank and tell the organizers. Here’s their contact info.

We were thrilled with the partnerships, support and opportunity to participate to support the Portland Women’s Expo Foundation in this endeavor. In fact, we hope they want us back next year – because we’ve already got tuns of ideas flowing to improve and build the Lounge, which increases the fundraising efforts that this event is truly all about.

Comments »

International Women’s Day Every Day

It’s officially International Women’s Day!!!!! It comes around every year and is reason to celebrate the women and females in your life and the lives around us. Every where.

We all must work on making gender a moot point by simply making sure we’re looking with an equality lens in each and every transaction, conversation, and action.

Celebrate and elevate the women and females in life.

Celebrate and elevate the women and females in life.

Did you know…

…that Feminism means “the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.”

…that there are still labels that choose to use sexualization to try to sell products, rather than focus on the merits of the products? American brewers of all sizes need to take this day to re-examine their labeling. Support brands that feature the quality and benefits, not boobies and skin.

…that it’s been studied and proven over and over again that when there are relatively equal numbers of women and men participating in society on an equal footing, the society is healthier, more productive, kinder and much more humane, diplomatic and egalitarian.

…quotas of gender aren’t the answer nor the solution. Internalizing until it’s instinct will unconsciously help us in taking action to equalize with positive change.

Write a note or letter to a female you care about today. Someone you admire and who inspires you in any way. It matters not that you know them or not: they’ll be inspired forward to hear from someone who finds them a mentor, an aspirational example and makes them go forward.

Gloria sums it up here: “The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights”

Comments »

Beer & Chocolate: Oregon Chocolate Festival 2013

Mmmmmmmmm. Ooooooooooo! Ahhhhhh!

Sounds that emanated from the Ashland Springs Hotel Grand Ballroom, Conservatory, and Crystal room were harmoniously happy with the offerings at the 9th annual Oregon Chocolate Festival this past weekend.

Glasses and plates up to Karolina of the Springs who started this event 9 years ago. Cassie, Danielle, Jacob, and all the rest of the crew put forth a great and effective effort to show guests a lovely time. Several community partners helped enhance the event as well. Here’s the link to the fest.

beer and chocolate

beer and chocolate

We had the pleasure of providing edutainment both Saturday and Sunday: Beer & Chocolate tastings and pairings. We traveled through the tastings enhanced with great questions asked by the guests. Thanks to everyone who joined us! T’was fun to see some familiar faces return as well. Hope to see you all again next year at the fest.

As promised and is our habit to share, here are the two workshop menus. All beers generously provided by Standing Stone Brewing Company, Ashland OR.

Saturday 3.3.13

  • SSBC I Love Oregon Ale with Dagoba Lemon Ginger Chocolate
  • 2013 Chocolate Festival SSBC Chocolate Ale with Dagoba Xocolatl
  • SSBC Oatmeal Stout with Dagoba Chai Chocolate
  • SSBC Barleywine with Dagoba Roseberry Chocolate

Sunday 3.4.13

  • 2013 Chocolate Festival SSBC Chocolate Ale with Lillie Belle Perfect Illusion Chocolate
  • SSBC Oatmeal Stout with Lillie Belle Stella Blue Chocolate
  • SSBC Barleywine with Lillie Belle Purple Haze Chocolate

Thanks much to Dagoba Chocolates and Lillie Belle Handmade Chocolates for letting us feature their yummy wares.

We also mentioned a few references for learning more about beer:

In the meantime, until next year, call on Women Enjoying Beer for your own events. We’re available to hire to edutain and enjoy “beer and…” whatever you may have in mind.

Comments »

Press Release from ROW Adventures

Today’s a great day to register you, family and friends for this coming trip! I’d love to see you along ~



The Best In Family Adventures Just Got Better – ROW Introduces Family “Beer” Tasting Trip

Like ales and lagers of breweries, no two root beers are alike. ROW Adventures introduces a family twist to their popular Craft & Raft adventure on the Rogue River.


Perfect Summer memories: WEB & ROW Family Raft & Craft

Perfect Summer memories: WEB & ROW Family Raft & Craft

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho – A new and innovative spin on their Craft & Raft™ adventure, ROW Adventures’ “Family” Craft & Raft™ trip marries the thrill of whitewater rafting on Oregon’s Rogue River with exclusive beverage tasting for adults and kids alike. Adults sample a number of delicious craft beers from Oregon breweries, each paired with hors d’oeuvres that complement and enhance the flavors of the brew. Kids get to do just the same with specialty crafted root beer from regional breweries.

“Two things set our trip apart from the other craft beer trips in the area,” explains Peter Grubb, founder of ROW Adventures, “First, we have Ginger Johnson, enthusiastic beer specialist and owner of Women Enjoy Beer, come along with beer, food pairings, and knowledge. Secondly, we’ve decided that these specialty trips should not only be fun if you are over twenty-one!”

The Pacific Northwest is the self-proclaimed king of breweries and there are more than a dozen brands of root beer in the region as well. With variations in flavor distinctions, carbonation, and sweetness, each root beer brand (like beer) is unique.

So, what makes root beer taste like root beer? Here are the basic components:

•  Anise: Licorice flavor

•  Sarsaparilla: A bitter root that lends the root beer flavor

•  Birch oil: Made from the sap of birch trees; lends a flavor similar to teaberry

•  Wintergreen: Minty flavor often found in chewing gum

•  Sassafras: A deep, bitter flavor derived from the sassafras tree

•  Vanilla extract: Bourbon or Tahitian; gives root beer its distinct creaminess


great times on the Rogue River

This trip is set to be offered July 20, 2013. The Rogue River is a premier whitewater destination and offers the only summer lodge to lodge rafting vacation in the United States.  Spaces are limited.

To learn more about ROW Adventures, visit: www.ROWadventures.com; call 800-451-6034; or e-mail info@rowadventures.com. For other media, press inquiries, or photos please contact Mychal Ferger.


ROW Adventures, voted the World’s Best Tour Operator by Travel + Leisure Magazine readers in 2012, began as a whitewater rafting company in Idaho in 1979. ROW now operates adventures throughout the world in 17 different countries emphasizing water adventures. ROW founders Peter Grubb and Betsy Bowen raised their two children on the rivers, lakes, and forests of the Northern Rockies. Through their own outdoor adventure experience as parents, they developed family-oriented itineraries that emphasize nurturing relationships with oneself, family, and nature.

One comment

One comment »

Pre Beerdrinker 2013 Festivities

Last night found yours truly surrounded by a simultaneously eclectic and homogenous group of people. Let me expound.

  • Eclectic: people from across the country, varied backgrounds, experiences, and ideas, all having gotten into beer via different routes and life happenings, epiphanies and relationships.
  • Homogenous: all passionate about the greater beer community, education, accurate knowledge and sharing it all forward – while trying beer everywhere we can.
Warren, Kevin, & Jen getting used to being photographed, pre-event dinner 2013 BDOTY

Warren, Kevin, & Jen getting used to being photographed, pre-event dinner 2013 BDOTY

I’m in Denver, Colorado, USA, for the finals of the 17th Annual Beerdrinker Of The Year, as held and sponsored by Wynkoop Brewing Company. It’s a long-standing contest wherein anyone can apply to explain and compete to be chosen as the exemplary example of a Beerdrinker. Applicants are vetted down to 10, then again to three finalists.

One of the things I sincerely value in this seemingly flippant contest is that Wynkoop is always working on helping redefine what a beerdrinker is. So ask yourself, “what is a beerdrinker to me?” It’s not flippant at all while it does in fact have a big element of good humor.

As an invited Final Judge (hence my involvement) we are to look at many facets of the final 3 candidates. Beerambassadorship, humor, volume of beers tried, herstory of their beer journeys – wherever they may take place, advocacy, and other demonstrated characteristics of what it means to be a positive example of a Beerdrinker for all.

At the pre-event dinner last night, we all met and mingled, enjoyed flavorful Wynkoop beers and food (thanks!), and in general got a good footing for today’s event. As you might imagine, a cozy room full of candidates, judges and other special guests, it was full of enlightening and engaging conversation, enthusiasm, ideas, thoughts and respect for one another.

So onward to the finals! With our charge as judges to come up with questions to challenge the finalists in real-time, I only wish we got more time to question and dialogue with the finalists. *Alas!* It’s a great conundrum to be mired in.

Watch media outlets and websites for the announcement of the winner. I already know this: The finalists (and all 7 of the other semi finalists) are a great asset to the world beer community. And that more people should submit their resume when the time comes again later this year.

2013 Beerdrinker of the Year Finalists: Jen Schwertman/NY, Kevin Cox/IN, Warren Monteiro/NY

2013 Beerdrinker of the Year Judges: J. Wilson/2012 BDOTY, Andy Brown/Wynkoop Head Brewer, Kyle Clark/TV Reporter, Cody Christman/2009 BDOTY, Ginger Johnson/Women Enjoying Beer

Big Beery thanks to one of the biggest and most diplomatic, fun and enthusiastic AmBeersadoors I know: Marty Jones, Wynkoop Brewing.

Stay tuned….

Comments »

What’s What at Wynkoop?! Beerdrinker Of The Year 2013, That’s What

Jen Schwertman, BDOTY Finalist 2013

Jen Schwertman, BDOTY Finalist 2013

This Saturday will witness the 2013 Beerdrinker of the Year Finals at Wynkoop Brewing Company. As usual, it’s all about building beer enthusiasm, ambeersadorship, adventure, tasting LOTS of beers all over, and sharing that love with others.

“These super beer geeks must have a deep understanding of how beer is made, its many styles and its importance in advancing civilization. They must have a vast array of beer tasting experiences and be shining ambassadors for the culture of fine beer.

The 2013 finalists will compete in the Beerdrinker of the Year Finals on February 23, at 2 PM, at Wynkoop Brewing Company. The event’s open to the public and admission is free.”

Marty Jones of Wynkoop, the driving force de beer of the event, has invited Ginger (yours truly) to be a finals judge this year. Sweet! So if you’ll be there, come say hello. As judges we ‘get’ to wear wigs and robes – rest assured I’ll have a few surprises up my roomy sleeve as well.

Everyone who enjoys beer should consider applying for this in the future. Here’s why:

  • Warren Monteiro, BDOTY Finalist 2013

    Warren Monteiro, BDOTY Finalist 2013

    Beer is universal

  • Being a beer drinker and ambassador is fun!
  • You’re bringing beer to life, shedding positive light on the entire idea of community and meeting new folks constantly
  • You get beer for life at Wynkoop when you win
  • You’re home beer bar gets to make a big deal out of it – as they should for all finalists and winners

As educators, researchers and consultants, we’re honored to be included in this very lively event that helps continue to elevate beer in America. Thanks, Marty!

Kevin Cox BDOTY Finalist 2013

Kevin Cox, BDOTY Finalist 2013

So get ready, celebrate in person – or if unable to join us, lift a glass in support and salute those who are willing to wear the crown for beer. Cheers to that, I say!!

p.s. if you want help in the resume process for 2014, be in touch. Tip sheet coming soon!

Comments »

Swig & Stitch Menu Febrewary 2013

Another successful and well attended Swig & Stitch went off without a hitch this week. Thanks to the veteran event goers that come back repeatedly. Teresa, Karen, and the rest – you’re sooooo much fun! Thanks to the new folks who embrace the idea – and become veterans. A willing and open-minded audience is a genuine treat!

Since beer is social, we started the night with a singing of Hoppy Beerthday to Sandi, truly a person of vision. It’s an honor and pleasure to do these events with her.

Here’s the Beer & Salads menu we enjoyed at our ever gracious host, 4 Daughters Irish Pub.

  1. Lagunitas IPA with mixed green salad and huckleberry vinaigrette. Why: Lagunitas IPA is a go to IPA for me: balanced, flavorful, consistently delicious
  2. Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye with baby spinach salad and candied walnuts. Why: Rye provides “signature spicy, black-pepper-like flavors and complex dryness”, courtesy SNBC.
  3. SOB Porter with mixed greens and balsamic vinaigrette and bacon bits.  Why: A deep porter complements a mature balsamic vinaigrette very nicely and is usually unexpected.

Care to join us next time? Contact Fabric of Vision for registration.

Want to have this (trademarked) concept come to you? Get in touch with me directly.

Comments »

ROW, ROW, ROW Your Raft

Women Enjoying Beer is very excited to be partnering with ROW Adventures for an annual Rafting trip. Here’s the scoop, straight from ROW:

Family Raft & Craft – Beer For All Ages!
Here’s a Dionysian celebration for the entire family!  Raft by day and enjoy libations at night – for everyone in the family.  We bring delicious craft beer from several Oregon breweries along with craft root beer, ginger beer and other non-alcoholic choices for those under 21.  Each is paired with snacking foods that highlight and enhance the flavors of the drink.  We are delighted to be working with Ginger Johnson of  Women Enjoying Beer who brings her specialized knowledge to each evening’s tasting.  This superb itinerary marries exciting whitewater rafting by day and exclusive craft beer and beverage sampling by night. This trip is absolutely perfect for craft beer enthusiasts, craft beverage enthusiasts and for whitewater rafting lovers looking for a fun new twist to the normal adventure.
Join us for Family Friendly Craft & Raft with ROW Adventures

Join us for Family Friendly Craft & Raft with ROW Adventures

The Rogue River is one the world’s greatest rafting adventures and the only of it’s kind to offer lodge to lodge rafting throughout the entire summer. This way, guests can have cozy, warm cabins and private bathrooms after an exhilarating day of river rafting. To learn more about this river, please visit our Rogue River rafting trip page.

The trip will feature beer of both the alcoholic and non-alcoholic form – think root beer!!! So it’s geared towards families that want to raft, sip, nibble & share, create great life long memories.
This will be my 4th year on the river with one of the safest and well run rafting company around. They’ve also recognized by several well respected voices in the travel business. The dates are July 20 – 22, 2013.
Book it here – see you then!

Comments »

Inaugural Swig & Shop Menu

Last night we enjoyed being part of a private Swig & Shop at Fabric Of Vision. If you’ve followed us on Swig & Stitch before, let me tell you Swig & Shop is another variation of the idea of fabric & sewing technique demos interspersed with beer tastings.

YUM! Talk about a great combination. With Swig & Shop, it was a fabric picking event. Meaning: Sandi, the owner of Fabric of Vision, lead the small eager to learn group through picking fabric, talking about pairing different fabrics. Talking about why you like and don’t like something, how it ‘goes’ or doesn’t and all the why’s related to our fabric and sewing choices.

It was almost surreal to hear her talk about fabric that way since WEB is all about asking the Why on women + beer. Another great reason we’re collaborating on these events. We both understand that the Why is what drives action. Knowing the What is not enough. You’ve got to ask the Why.

She talked about empowering yourself to know what you do like and what you don’t – and that’s where the Why comes in. Once you say “Yes, I like that” or “No, I don’t like that” asking yourself “Why” will make you better able and more confident in keeping the process moving forward.

Intensity also made an appearance. I was continually stoked to hear these similar concepts relating to beer and fabric! Yet another example how beer is truly universal, and I’ll give fabric the same credit.

Swig & Shop

Swig & Shop

It was a really interesting exercise to witness. Having a fondness for fabric and sewing as well, it resonated with me too.

Here was the menu WEB laid out to fortify between the pickings.


  1. Laurelwood Portland Roast Espresso Stout
  2. Lindeman’s Framboise
  3. Valley View Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
  4. Montinore Pinot Gris 2011
  5. R.W. Knudson Sparkling Organic Pear juice


  • Dark chocolate malted milk balls (Sadly not from Briess!)
  • Ripe red bell peppers
  • Sesame crackers
  • Organic mixed cherry tomatoes
  • Walnuts
  • Rumiano whole milk Monterey Jack cheese
  • Dried banana chips

All fun, all delicious, all educational, high value. And that’s how we swig & shop!

Comments »

ABC’s of Women, Beer and Food: Letter P

Hint: What Prohibits you from enjoying your beer??

The Letter P brings us to that ‘Noble Experiment’ in the USA known as Prohibition. Woof – and what a doozy it was!

If you’ve never read up or thought about the era of Prohibition in the United States of America, it’s a good day to do. When the Ken Burns and Lynn Novick film premiered on PBS a few years ago, I learned volumes on what it was actually about, how everyone was affected, and how it changed our entire nation.


SOPTV & Prohibition Film event

Suffice it to say everyone needs to educate themselves on this part of American herstory. So many facets of life were working towards, against, and every other possible way either for or against the legalization of alcohol.

I learned a great deal by partnering with my local public television station in hosting a series of events that utilized this great film and its pending release with fundraising efforts. It’s something I’m truly proud to have been involved with and still embrace talking about.

The absolute prohibition of any one thing – alcohol and food included – will always lead to other absolutes. The world is grey, very rarely black and white, and absolutes put into place and either enforced or totally discounted will have far-reaching and unpredictable outcomes.

For now, only prohibit yourself from being a snob of any variety and keep learning. Keep sharing that knowledge forward to everyone’s benefit.

Comments »

Virtual Tasting on BeerRadio today

Today will be our first BeerRadio Virtual Tasting featuring sponsor Ninkasi Brewing. I know I’m looking forward to it. Here’s the scoop:

P1100768At 5 pm Pacific Standard Time, this week’s episode of BeerRadio will begin on our home station KSKQ.org. Stream along with us. Inviting friends and nibbles to the mix makes it all the better and more educational.

We’ll taste, examine, and talk about the following beers:

Participate from the comfort of your home and favorite local establishments. Sip along!

The studio phone line will be open as well so call in to share ideas, thoughts and suggestions 541-482-3999. Larry will answer the phone with relish.

Ninkasi isn’t yet in your market place? Choose other beers you want to explore and join us all the same. It’s all about the exploration and sharing, education and social quality a beer tasting is designed to accomplish.

If you’re in Southern Oregon and want to join us live in the studio, call me directly by 3 pm PST. We have room for 3 – 4 women & men who want to sip along.

Comments »

2012 GABF Media Luncheon Musings

With a nod to the new year and Julia, I want to reflect on the 2012 GABF Media Luncheon menu today. It’s a piece of paper that I keep and read periodically with fondness and a Pavlovian-like mouth-watering response upon reading it.

Table set up at the GABF Media Luncheon

As we start into a new year, we want to continue to encourage all eaters of drink and food to explore, expand and change your own boundaries of what beer and food together can do.

The Luncheon had 6 delicious courses, all featuring at least one beer with the foods. Ready for this?

Welcome: Paparazzi Pale, brewed by Julia Herz, Craft Beer Program, Brewers Association & Brainless on Peaches, Epic Brewing

Appetizer: Braised Pork Belly paired with Telegraph Brewing Company’s California Ale.

Intermezzo: Pumpkin Sorbet made with Breckenridge Autumn Ale paired with Vida y Muerte by 5 Rabbit Brewery

Entrée (carnivore): Colorado Lamb Shank braised with Odell Cuttthroat Porter paired with La Cumbre Elevated IPA and Catawba Valley Le Saison Noire

Dessert: Apple crepes paired with Flying Fish Exit 4 and Maui Brewing & Dogfish Collaboration Liquid Breadfruit beer

Cheese Course: Buratta paired with Founders Blushing Monk

Pure deliciousness!

Thanks the Saints of the Tastebuds!!! Everything was interesting to try, some courses resonated louder than others – all of it was very well done by the host and hotel kitchen staff.

I’m always appreciative of being able to attend the luncheon for a number of reasons. First being that I can and do pass this information forward – continuing the education of beer, beer and food, and experience that we can all benefit from. I also seriously look forward to seeing so many friends and colleagues at this luncheon. And as an avid cook myself, it’s a great stimulus for my own pursuits…which invariably make it into our presentations, this site and various other edutainment outlets.

So this year make a pledge to yourself to try, try and try again. The best case scenario is you learn a lot. The worst – you get to try again! Cheers ~

Comments »